Tips to Avoid Contact Tracing Scams

Tips to Avoid Contact Tracing Scams

Contact tracers play an important role in stopping the spread of COVID-19. They help local health departments monitor the spread of COVID-19 by tracking down people who may have come into contact with the coronavirus without being aware of it. Yet, contract tracer scams are also on the rise. You can avoid COVID-19 contract tracing scams by learning what legitimate contact tracers will and will not do.

Legitimate contact tracers will:

  • ✔️Be state or local Department of Health employees or their contractors,
  • ✔️Ask about your personal symptoms to gage for possible COVID-19 infection,
  • ✔️Ask about others you may have come into contact with recently,
  • ✔️Be able to refer you to other medical and social resources, and
  • ✔️Ask if you have insurance or not to connect those who are not insured with resources.

Be cautious of anyone who:

  • ⚠️Asks for specifics about your health insurance, like your Medicare number,
  • ⚠️Claims they need a credit card or cash to pay for a COVID-19 test, or
  • ⚠️Wants your personal information or Social Security number to help you set up a COVID-19 test.

If anyone asks you for your personal information and claims to be a contact tracer, hang up or do not respond. This is a scam.

If you come across such scams, report them to our California Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 1-855-613-7080.

You can also download our contact tracing fraud alert in English and Spanish. And see our other fraud alerts here.

Karen Fletcher
Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.

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